Denmark has once again defended its controversial ban on metal drinks cans against threats of court action from the European Commission. Last week, Denmark replied to a reasoned opinion issued by the Commission in October, which warned that the ban was in breach of the EU's 1994 packaging directive (ENDS Daily 7 October). In a letter sent to the Commission, Denmark also defends its legislation obliging national beer and soft drinks producers to use refillable bottles, which the Commission again claims is a violation of EU law. A Danish government official told ENDS Daily that a court case might lead to an EU-wide debate on the packaging directive. Other member states shared Denmark's concern over the "quality" of the law, he claimed. Denmark continues to argue that the directive is not yet fully operational and therefore poses no obstacle to its national regulations, and that the Danish system can be seen as "a natural extension" of the directive's environmental aims. The European packaging association Europen said a court case would bring a "sense of relief" to industry if it could settle the long-running argument.
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